Jam-packed with stereotypical masculine interests like gadgets and explosions, it's no big surprise that superhero movies are overwhelmingly marketed to the male audience. But contrary to some Hollywood executives' opinions, the appeal of superhero movies defies gender stereotypes — just ask Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds, whose smackdown of superhero movies' sexist marketing challenges the assumption that women don't like superhero movies.
At a Deadpool press conference in Berlin, Reynolds pointed out that some studios still think women flock to movie theaters for love stories.
"I think it's funny that the studios go, 'Oh, how are we going to market this movie to women? We have to market the romantic angle,'" Reynolds said. "And it's sort of like, well — no. Women love fucking superhero movies! Clearly they go to these movies. It's sort of funny that the studios are sometimes the last to know that."
Considering many, if not most superhero movies are adapted from comic books — another medium heavily geared towards male readers, though it is improving — the fact that the target audience is skewed to one gender is not totally surprising. But this is the 21st century, and women like dramatic depictions of heroism and impossible feats, too.
Reynolds also suggested that women would appreciate Deadpool's strong female characters — something that many other movies in the genre lack — and attributed the film's smashing success to its boldness in going where no other superhero film has dared to.
"It doesn't feel like a cookie-cutter superhero movie," Reynolds said. "It feels like something unique. You've got to sometimes take risks and go against conventional wisdom to come out a winner."
Cover image via Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images.